Barnes, who pitched both as a starter and reliever in 2015, will pitch exclusively out of the bullpen in 2016, WEEI.com reports. "With Matt Barnes, our plans are for him to come to spring training, and we've already talked to him about this, and really focus in on the bullpen, to try to help us with that power arm out there," president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. The move makes sense. Barnes is a power arm (mid-90s fastball) and the Red Sox bullpen lacked those types of arms last season. It also allows the young right-hander to focus exclusively on one role and how he needs to pitch in order to be successful in that role.
The Red Sox are still discussing where pitcher Matt Barnes fits best into their plans for next season, the Boston Globe reports. Barnes is currently relieving for Boston, but was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft and developed as a starter. His performance out of the pen has been spotty, but much better lately as he claimed he's learning how to pitch at the major-league level. The Red Sox could use a power arm in the bullpen - Barnes throws a mid-90s heater - and he'd be an attractive candidate to compete for a relief job in 2016. But Boston also needs depth and talent in its rotation.
Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes, who has not allowed a run since returning to the Red Sox on Sept. 12, has been better in this stint in the majors because he's throwing first-pitch strikes, the Boston Globe reports. "I think the bottom line is Strike 1 with Matt Barnes," interim manager Torey Lovullo said. "If he gets a strike on you, with that velocity and at that angle, it can be very challenging." Barnes has given up just one walk, while striking out six in seven innings since returning to Boston. Getting ahead in the count and limiting walks has been key for Barnes this time around. And so has keeping the ball in the park. Barnes, who had surrendered eight homers in 32 2/3 previous innings, has not given up a long ball since the September callup.
The Red Sox promoted pitcher Jonathan Aro, Matt Barnes and Rich Hill from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. They will all be active for Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays.
The impending return of Rick Porcello to the rotation has motivated the Red Sox to option fellow starter Matt Barnes to Triple-A Pawtucket. Reliever Jonathan Aro will take the place of Barnes on the roster until Porcello is activated for a start Wednesday against the White Sox, per MLB.com. Barnes did not distinguish himself in two starts this week, losing both decisions and allowing 11 runs in 10 1/3 innings. He has given up eight homers in 23 appearances this season.